Manchester United line up audacious bid for Ashley Cole

Manchester United are reportedly plotting a stunning swoop to sign Chelsea defender Ashley Cole this summer according to the Metro.

Sir Alex Ferguson is hunting for a new left back to replace current first choice Patrice Evra and hoped to have signed Leighton Baines from Everton before the start of August.

The Red Devils are willing to pay £12 million for the England international but Toffees boss David Moyes won’t let 27-year-old Baines leave for anything less than £15m.

Having loaned Fabio out to Queens Park Rangers for the season Ferguson stressed the importance of boosting the full back positions two weeks ago as the new Premier League campaign fast approaches.

“Left-back is an area which we’re paying attention to in that sense that Patrice, in the last five years, has played an average of 45 to 50 games,” he said.

“Patrice will be all right. He’s shown he has a resilience about him and has a great attitude to playing, but he is 31 next month.”

It’s now emerged that the United chief will explore other options and is weighing up an astonishing move for Cole after being alerted to his current contract situation at Stamford Bridge.

The 31-year-old’s current deal expires in 12-months time and has still not been offered an extension by the Blues despite his consistent performances – most notably in the Champions League final triumph over Bayern Munich.

Talks have yet to be scheduled meaning owner Roman Abramovich and manager Roberto Di Matteo must come to a decision over whether to sell now or risk losing him for nothing next year.

Di Matteo is said to be keen on giving youngster Ryan Bertrand, who also starred on his European debut at the Allianz Arena in May, the chance to prove he can be the long-term successor to Cole next season.

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